Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why did Baden fail to change the cause of death on the Soman case?

2. What military rule hindered the MIA team until 1985?

3. Who created Four Stages of Cruelty?

4. Who were Baden's Nobel prize winning mentors?

5. How long does the military keep medical records?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Humes' excuse about the faulty autopsy, and is this excuse valid?

2. Discuss the symptoms of strychnine.

3. What happened to much of the evidence in the Kennedy assassination case, and what does Baden believe occurred?

4. Describe the People vs. Levine case. What was the case, and why did Baden fail to do as he was asked by the DA?

5. What are the ways mentioned in Chapter Six to identify a body?

6. Discuss why Baden believes how someone dies is a reflection of how they live.

7. Explain how Baden discovered the age, time of death, and identity of Katherine Howard.

8. Describe why there was controversy surrounding the death of Elvis.

9. Summarize Baden's beliefs about what the DA expects an ME to do during autopsy, when issuing a cause of death or other findings.

10. Describe why Baden notes the conspiracy theorists' use of the head movement of Kennedy after his shooting leads to unreliable conclusions.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

John Belushi died of an overdose of heroin, according to Baden. Cathy Smith admits to giving Belushi the drugs, although she disagrees with his time of death, or that her specific injection caused his death. Regardless of these facts, do you think that, even if Cathy had injected Belushi's final dose, that her act constituted a crime? Why or why not? What does Baden say about most drug injection murder cases? Why did Belushi's case differ? Did Belushi's record of massive drug addiction predispose him to die of an overdose, regardless of who injected him? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

Baden discusses the use of forensic medicine to help humanity. After reading the book, how do you think forensic medicine can help humanity beyond locating a cause of death? Do you think this role is important? Why? What does the role of an ME have on criminal trials and other investigations? Is this important? When combined with the knowledge that public opinion can overpower science, is the role of a medical examiner more or less important? Why? Be sure to use concepts from the book to explain your answers.

Essay Topic 3

The novel discusses additional methods to deteremine time of death, those of the potassium eye test and the use of the digestive system.

Part 1) List each method, and discuss, in detail, how that method helps determine the time of death.

Part 2) Compare and contrast the methods. How are they the same? How are they different?

Part 3) Compare these methods with rigor mortis, livor mortis, and algor mortis. Why are these methods sometimes needed? What benefit do these methods have that the others do not? Be sure to explain your answer using examples from the book.

(see the answer keys)

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